A simulated emergency exercise was held at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood recently when preparations to deal with a potential disaster were tested at a special staff training day.
The exercise included creating four scenarios involving visitors to the Park. The first was a full fire evacuation of the Visitor Centre while the other three involved casualties requiring first aid and basic life support.
The training day was designed to test the country park’s incident procedures to ensure that they could offer a robust response in an emergency and keep visitors as safe as possible. Staff were given the chance to practice using on-site Automated External Defibrillators and oxygen therapy. They worked with South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Dorset Fire & Rescue Service who assisted in staging a full emergency response while members of Casualty Union played the role of casualties made up with various realistic injuries.
The day was planned by Matthew Beavan, Visitor Services Ranger at the Park. He said, “We get around 800,000 visitors each year and it is important that our staff are prepared for any emergency situations that may occur.
“We have a well-equipped First Aid room, two defibrillators and oxygen therapy equipment. We hold a St John Ambulance Award for our First Aid provision and act as a First Responder Site for the South Western Ambulance Service.
“While we keep all of our safety training and equipment up to date, I planned the emergency scenario day to put the staff and management team through their paces so that we could test our procedures and make any improvements necessary.
“I’m pleased to say that, while enabling us to refine some of our processes, the exercise demonstrated that visitors can be assured that we have the right facilities and skills to deal with all but the most significant emergencies. Even if a more serious incident was to occur, our links with the emergency services are such that we are confident that we can respond quickly and effectively.”
With so many visitors to the 800-acre Park some accidents are inevitable. Thankfully, most of them are minor and easily resolved with a sticky plaster!
Moors Valley opens every day except Christmas Day. Admission is free, parking charges apply. For more information contact the Rangers on 01425 470721 or visit www.moors-valley.co.uk.